B.C. endorses Ottawa’s balanced budget

Ottawa's tax cuts cost B.C. treasury too; Industry Minister James Moore defends Coast Guard changes for West Coast

Industry Minister James Moore (left) and B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong

VICTORIA – The federal government has joined B.C. in the balanced budget club, but it comes at a cost to provincial revenues.

Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver delivered his first budget Tuesday, featuring increased defence spending and a new public transit fund that wouldn’t take effect until after the federal election scheduled for this fall.

B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong said changes in the federal budget such as reducing small business tax and allowing personal income splitting for couples have a flow-through effect on provincial revenues. That could be between $18 million and $30 million to B.C., he said.

De Jong said the B.C. government supports the reduction in federal small business tax rate, which is to decline from 11 to nine per cent by 2019.

A new federal fund to help pay for transit doesn’t take effect until 2017, but de Jong said he expects current federal infrastructure programs to continue until then.

Federal Industry Minister James Moore said the Conservative government is still distributing funds from the $70 billion infrastructure fund that was included in last year’s budget, and the new fund is in response to cities’ demands.

The mayors of Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and the national and provincial municipal associations have all endorsed the budget, Moore said.

B.C. NDP finance critic Carole James said the federal budget seems to have missed B.C. priorities, and it was frustrating to see Ottawa balance its books on the same day as the Canadian Coast Guard closed another West Coast facility.

The Coast Guard’s marine communications and traffic centre at Ucluelet is closed, with the function transferred to Prince Rupert. A similar station in Vancouver is to close May 6, with traffic monitored from Victoria, and another monitoring station at Comox is set to close this year, according to Unifor, the union representing Coast Guard employees.

Moore said the rationalization and modernization of ship tracking systems on the West Coast will improve safety, and has already been done on the East Coast.

Business Council of B.C. president Greg D’Avignon said balancing the national budget, investing in transit and providing investment incentives for industries such as liquefied natural gas and forestry will help offset the effects of a slump in oil prices and weak commodity markets.

 

Just Posted

Permitted burns in Okanagan mountains

Kelowna Fire Department says please don’t call 911

Pets sit in Santa’s lap

Kelowna - The Okanagan Small Dog Rescue Society held a pet photo opt today

Your weekend highlights

Each week, the Capital News will highlight stories from the week

Comedian/magician visiting Lake Country

Wes Barker is performing at Creekside Theatre, Nov. 25

Good Natured Books celebrates first book launch in Kelowna

David Allen, the author of A Song for Swinging, is signing books at Wentworth Music today

Drones used in search for clues about missing women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

WATCH: Thousands gathering in Abbotsford for Const. John Davidson funeral procession

Celebration of life to follow at Abbotsford Centre at 1 p.m.

Back-to-back wins for the Vees this weekend

Penticton Vees take down Capitals 10-1

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

Massive monster truck tour held in Kelowna

Traxxas Monster Truck Tour will be here in January, 2018

Most Read